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[Trivia] Patents

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Who actually held a patent on the basic process by which atomic bombs explode?

    NO Googling, by the way, I wouldn't have thought this would be easy to look up but I just did and it wasn't difficult at all.
  2. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Since I had no clue, I googled it, but I won't ruin for everyone. I was surprised though at the result of that search.
  3. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Although his actual patent takes a very different approach from that used in real bombs.
  4. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?


    Can you clarify why you disagree with every source on the subject?
  5. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    The actual patent (see here) discusses the use of cathode tubes, etc., to generate the chain reaction, while the working models bring together two subcritical masses to initiate and substain the reaction. Doesn't take anything alway from his brilliance and insight, though.
  6. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Ah, I see. You're referring to the technology in his patent. I'm only thinking about the basic scientific principle of a neutron chain reaction. I hadn't given any consideration to how he thought that might be induced, only that it could be to create an explosion.
  7. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    The patent is no big surprise when you notice the author: Leo Szilard.
  8. Kluge

    Kluge Observing your world for over 50 years

    The patent is dated 1934 and mentions neutron production but makes no mention of fission. This link says
    I thought a patent had to work to be approved. They knew that uranium emitted neutrons and Szilard knew that his hypothetical fuel needed more neutrons emitted than absorbed, but I don't understand how he got a patent based on speculation that a chain reaction could take place. That's like getting a patent for the Starship Enterprise based on the speculation that Warp Drive will be discovered.
  9. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I'm not a lawyer but I googled this summary of Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act on bitlaw.com (which from the site name probably focuses on computer law but the law itself should apply generally):
    It would seem to this non-lawyer that the patent (if in the U.S., which it isn't) would be invalid. I have no idea what GB's patent laws are.
  10. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Find the link in the OP for enlightenment, O wise ones ;)
  11. Greg

    Greg Full Member

  12. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    There for the finding.....;)

    Links are always underlined.
  13. Brazbit

    Brazbit Nah... It can't be.

    Cute link Steve.

    Guess you should be less subtle next time, try this:

  14. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Hey! I ain't no n00b, I've actually used 8" floppy disks and punch cards :)

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